Twelfth Night, or What You Will…

So the frivolities are over, the obligations fulfilled, the promises made.  The bride and bridegroom of the old year have been waved away, leaving  the land to rest and await Spring’s wakening.  The coloured lights, the glitter’s memory, the gleam of hope must warm us for a while as we prepare against Nature’s frozen sleep.

Yet there is an air of apocalypse about this year’s turning.  Highest winds, heaviest rain, warmest recorded days – they  march together holding their placards high to remind us – the world is old; it has no more to give.

So many good people have spent their winter festival in darkness this year:  no coloured lights, no tinsel, no happy gathering of family or friends to warm their hearts, just the rising waters of burst rivers about their feet, the howl of the storm around their heads.  Although there will always be those who smile and push the truth aside:  next winter will be better, next year all this will be forgotten – although some will insist it is ‘God’s punishment’, and go about in sackcloth and ashes exhorting us to use coloured bins, to drink our own recycled urine, to store our sunny days in batteries as if that will somehow tip the scales, yet there is only one truth.  We all know it, in our hearts.

We are too many.

I have this one wish.  If you like it is my New Year’s resolution.   It is not for me, my tenancy has nearly expired.   It is for my children I ask that we please accept:  there is a god – not some mythical deity reigning over an undefinable paradise, no, but a god whose existence is provable, who has us in her care.  By our actions, rather than by cheap words and mindless ritual, we should honour her.  Yet we turn our backs.  We exploit her, we use her gifts for our own selfish gains.  When, occasionally and understandably, she gets cross she reminds us of her power.  In the tsunami, the earthquake, the typhoon, the epidemic or the drought.  She is reminding us now.  In fact, she is giving us our final warning.

Before the contagion of monotheism took hold our ancestors well knew Nature’s power – they grew wise in the art of living beneath her panoply and they prospered, in the terms of their time.  They brought us to our place in the world of today.  And no, I am not advocating  a return to the grass hut, or the shadow of a new plague.  Civilisation has brought many good things to the table; progress is not all bad.  Conspicuous consumption, over-indulgence and greed – those things are bad;  and no religion is needed to remind us of basic morality – that we can see for ourselves, whether or not we choose to confess it.

Somehow – peacefully, I would hope – we need to get some sort of grip on the numbers.  We have to comprehend the selfishness of the individual when that runs contrary to the interests of our species and control our natural desire to multiply.   If we do not do so, if we continue to delude ourselves that somehow technology can be made to stretch the resources of our planet indefinitely, then Nature will act.  Humankind will become just another brief chapter in that dusty tome of evolution which nestles on a shelf somewhere among  the stars.

The way of man is the pointless fight.  It is the way of man that the final battle is always lost.

That is something we have to change.

That’s it.  Sorry to add a sombre note, but there are some things I just have to say!  Back to the stories next time….


© 2016 Frederick Anderson; all rights reserved.   No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form (other than for the purpose of re-blogging) or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the copyright holder.




16 responses to “Twelfth Night, or What You Will…”

  1. As always, your writing floors me, both in its content and its delivery. Over-population is a great threat to our planet, no doubt. I know everyone has their rights, but I can’t help but cringe when I hear about a family with 19 kids and growing (and in the US they get TV shows out of it). But that’s just the tip of the iceberg so I can’t put blame on them alone. It’s a difficult situation, one that makes it difficult not to fear for our kids’ and grandkids’ futures.


    1. Thank you so much, Carrie – and thanks for those tweets! I feel undeserving! Yes, its hard to watch the rampaging birthrate – a lot of it to do with poverty, I think, but due to education as well. Or maybe – just maybe – that’s something else they’re putting in the burgers! I have my little rants occasionally, and I like to delude myself into thinking the world listens…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My Dad (who lived in Durham) had only one charity to which he subscribed – one devoted to curtailing our global population explosion. I agree with you, and him, that we are already too many. The surge of the last 100 years is horrifying. However, I detect a glimmer at the end of the tunnel as I read that, in the affluent nations (including the UK and Europe) there is a trend towards lower growth rates with negative rates in some countries such as Germany and the Czech Republic. It is my hope that this trend gathers momentum. The ultimate challenge is going to be for societies to report success in new ways not dependent on growth.


    1. Yes, control of the population explosion is vital, but of course it strikes at the very means by which we construct our society. I wish I were as optimistic, but I see a situation already where climatic conditions are constricting inhabitable land…


  3. I am with you all the way, Frederick!


    1. Thank you Linda. A belated happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Frederick, and the same to you. 🙂


  4. Amen. Did you see my comment on your prior post re The Butterfly Man?


    1. Hi Amy: Yes I did, and I posted a reply, so I guess WordPress must be having a bit of a tantrum again. I am glad you enjoyed Butterfly Man – here’s the reply I made:
      ‘As to my books; well, if I recall, the other book of mine you read was Hallbury Summer? Every book is different, although I seem to be writing strong female characters at the moment. Cara is my strongest, a true renegade in every sense – I am quite fond of her (she’s better drawn than Katnyss, I think), and the characters in ‘I am Cara’ are quite possibly my favorites. My wife’s favorite is ‘Hasuga’s Garden’; the heroine of which, Alanee, is a more vulnerable character. ‘Dreamcake’ is quite raunchy, and supports a male hero. ‘The World-Maker’s Child’ is a follow-up to Hasuga’s Garden.

      Cara is dystopian, Hasuga sort of science fiction, though it isn’t about spaceships and so on, Dreamcake is a thriller – well, they all are, in their way. They’re all out there on Amazon Kindle. All my books are about people, rather than plots, I suppose’…

      I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can supply any further information. BTW, I hope everybody is going to forgive me – I’m just catching up after the ‘festive season’!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I will check them out on Amazon. Keep on writing!! And happy New Year!


  5. Regardless of the somber topic,this was well said/written.


  6. Well said Frederick, it seems that you an I share a common belief that mankind lost its way when it stopped living in harmony with nature and arrogantly thought it could be her master.

    Unfortunately you and I are in a lowly minority and for the most part the words we speak will fall upon deaf ears. Yet all around us we see Mother Nature struggling to send out her messages that also mankind en mass choose to ignore.

    So be it, I think the best we can hope for is that when Mother Nature really lets go, and she will, that those that survive, if any, will rise wiser because of it.

    Yet somehow I doubt it, such is the arrogance of mankind as a species. No doubt they will thank their God for deliverance and carry on as normal.


    1. Hello Merlin – thank you for dropping by. Yes, we are of like mind. And I’m afraid I agree with you – such is the arrogance, and possible the greed, of mankind, we are riding a train we are unable to stop. Unless we do, Homo erectus will become Homo horizontalis before a generation or two are out.


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